This weekend I am in the worst mood I can remember being in for a very, very long time. It’s not for no reason or anything, and I have hopes it will pass. And I know Andy Warhol was a shyster, and it’s been pointed out to me by the forces of light that I could use my powers for good and write about non-shysters instead.
This is quite right. If Warhol has an obvious heir in contemporary art, it must be the odious Damien Hirst. Then again, Ai Weiwei cited the Factory as a massive and important influence on and inspiration to him, and I find it very interesting that someone brilliant, from another place, with different needs, could take something meaningful from what looks so banal in one context, and use it to apply genuine values in another.
Then again, the banality – the decorativeness of banality – has, I think, an ironic layer in it in Warhol that Hirst, eg, lacks. And indeed the very act of utilising this banality in Ai becomes a subversion in itself, he explores the banality of things which claim not to be banal, exposes them, and interrogates very deeply, I think, what it is to be not banal. To be real, authentic, individual, to understand the meanings and significances of and beingness of things.
My point? This facial expression. It’s me exactly dahling. Warhol is there for me this weekend and sometimes in life that has to be enough.
Meanwhile, I’ve started reading Ford Madox Ford, Parade’s End. Kindle, 99p a volume. I had Episide one of the BBC’s latest Cumberbatch-fest and am hoping the trenches will provide an objective correlative and believable backdrop to my dreams.
We are blind in life. We can only see what shows. Most things – most events, places, people, relationships, objects, instances – have a meaning which resides in something that doesn’t show. By insisting on or by attempting to rely on only what appears, we handicap ourselves to the point of near incapacity.
Mlle B, though: “Oh I love Benedict Cumberbatch! He’s so cuddly!’
Everyone knows what Andy Warhol looked like. Inscrutable, darkly deep, above the fray the rest of us inhabit. He said, ‘In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes’. Like a deadpan spaceman he used his life and work to navigate the outer limits of this entity – fame. He explored its quarks and black holes, its quantum mechanics. And he never smiled.
Or did he?
This Sunday morning series will, for a number of weeks, explore the inner limits of post-postmodern life through the medium of the quiet man Robert Hughes (RIP) called ‘the white mole of Union Square’.
If Warhol could smile, we can too.